Big city life beats Oxford punting

July 11, 1997

Claire Gardner, 17, from Blessed Robert Johnson College, Telford, hopes to study history, her best subject, at university, but did not know what to expect from the summer school. "I was really nervous before I got here. I thought most of the people would be really posh, and pretty boring. Most of them are all right though. Really bright, but just normal people," she says.

Her A-level coursework will benefit too, "especially the study and presentation skills, which we don't really get at school."

Will she be coming to Oxford? "I don't think so," she says. "I'm going to apply to Bristol and Sheffield. I like big places, loads of new people and lots of things to do. And they are supposed to be good for history too."

Jenna Clark, 17, from Baines School near Blackpool, also in the history group, was "a little worried that people wouldn't be very friendly. I expected clever people from public schools. But mostly they're OK," she says.

While she has "reservations" about the punting, the summer school has given Jenna the taste for university life. But, she says, "I want to go to a big city university, maybe Leeds or Liverpool. Somewhere not too far from home."

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